Perfect Practice
Board-certified specialist Dr. Terry Levitt and her team have built a thriving orthodontic practice that stands the test of time
by Bill Donahue

The orthodontic practice led by Terry A. Levitt, D.M.D., M.S.D., is a rarity in more ways than one: its intimate size and exceptional experience; its ability to treat patients of all ages with a multitude of customized treatments; its commitment to knowing each patient, both personally and clinically; and, in short, the overall experience that patients enjoy from the moment they come through the door for the very first time.

“I really enjoy doing consultations with patients who have been elsewhere before they come here,” says Dr. Levitt, a board-certified second-generation orthodontist, with offices in Southampton and Bensalem. “We schedule a fair amount of time for each consultation, and when a patient leaves the office after the first appointment, I make sure I know about them and about what it is they want to accomplish. They will leave here more well-informed than at any other office.

“I see my job,” she continues, “as getting to know my patients clinically and personally. It has a lot to do with who the patient is and what they are looking to achieve, because each patient is different. I’m here to help them understand why they need what they need, and we always come to a mutual agreement as to the best way to treat them properly.”

Just as each patient is unique, so is Dr. Levitt’s thriving practice. Levitt Orthodontics has been treating patients in Bucks and Montgomery counties since 1970 when Dr. Ellis Levitt started the practice. Perhaps the most important distinction between her practice and others is the size of its highly qualified staff. Dr. Levitt has kept the staff purposely small—she has four full-time assistants and administrators, supplemented by part-time staffers at certain times of year—to provide personalized care for each patient. Some members of the team have been working by Dr. Levitt’s side for 15 years or longer.

“Many orthodontic offices have one or two doctors and a large staff, with assistants assigned to a patient and the doctor telling them what to do’” she says. “Not here. At virtually every appointment I am sitting down and doing significant treatment on each patient. If there’s anything new happening at a particular appointment I will make a conscious effort to let the patient know and, when it’s a child, let their parents know that they may be seeing or feeling something different. I’m very much a realist; I don’t want anyone to be surprised.”

The office is highly professional but also light hearted. It’s apparent that the members of Dr. Levitt’s tightly knit team enjoy each other’s company—even to the point of doing yoga together in the office during off-times—and patients feel the difference. 

“In our offices and through surveys on our website I get compliments from patients all the time, telling me how wonderful our team is,” she says. “I’m continually amazed at how the entire staff here will bend over backwards to help a patient, from insurance matters to accommodating appointments to just working to ensure that everyone is comfortable. Whatever it is, they’re going above and beyond to make sure our patients are happy.

“It’s funny, but business and medicine in general seems to be less personal,” she continues. “It’s not that way here. We’re involved, and we get to know our patients very well.”

Although a majority of Dr. Levitt’s patients wear conventional braces, she continues to see tremendous demand for innovative treatments such as Invisalign (invisible, removable teeth aligners) as well as SureSmile (a technology-driven treatment, guided by Dr. Levitt, which can lead to less frequent appointments and faster treatment times). Regardless of the type of treatment, each patient benefits from a customized plan that suits one’s individual needs and comfort level. Although many of the practice’s patients are children, Dr. Levitt also treats an increasing number of adults—including some in or approaching their 70s.

“Not everyone wants to wear braces for two and a half years,” she says. “Kids know they’ll have braces for a couple of years, and they’re OK with it because they’ll be part of the crowd; it’s actually ‘cool’ for kids to have braces now. Sometimes, though, I’ll see an adult or teen patient who doesn’t want to wear visible braces. In those instances we’ll talk about clear braces or Invisalign. Their main concern is looking better or having a healthier bite.

“The goal of the initial consultation is for the patient to walk out of the office feeling well informed and much closer to reaching the goal they want to achieve,” she continues. “I carefully present treatment options so they can see where they are starting and where they will end up. The patient ultimately has the final treatment decision, but I always make sure they have all the information to make a well-informed decision.”

Unrivaled Experience, Exceptional Care
Dr. Levitt, who earned her doctorate and post-doctoral orthodontic certification at Temple University Kornberg School of Dentistry, knew early on what her life’s calling would be. Learning the art and science of orthodontics at the foot of her now-retired father provided an invaluable foundation for the years ahead.

“I’ve been working with my dad since I was 14, so when I got to my orthodontic residency it was second nature,” she says. “I drove myself to get out of high school early, and I finished college in two years, so by the time I was in my third year of dental school I was only 21. After I got out of school I did a hospital-based dental residency and rotated into different disciplines, like cardiology and surgery, so I’ve been exposed to more than just dental medicine. Now, for my patients that need some kind of orthodontic-related jaw surgery, I often go into the operating room with them because I have the background and the interest.”

Truly, Dr. Levitt and her team strive to make a lasting connection with each patient, through the treatment and care they provide as well as through a soothing, spacious office environment. (The Bensalem office will soon undergo a remodel so it more closely resembles the almost spa-like atmosphere found in Southampton.) Dr. Levitt created the space to be relaxing, with amenities—a Wii, reading station and coffee/tea bar, for example—designed to alleviate anxiety and, above all, make the patient as comfortable as possible.

“Orthodontic treatment is elective,” she adds. “People are choosing to have treatment because they want to look better, feel better about themselves, and have a healthier bite, so we go out of our way to make the experience a pleasant one. We take the time to inquire about what insurance benefits will cover, submit the claims for them and occasionally chase insurance companies down if need be so the patient won’t have to.

“The biggest compliment we can receive is when patients refer friends or other family members. Fortunately, that happens quite often, and that kind of [support] doesn’t always come easily. Sometimes the referral will come from someone who was a patient of ours when they were kids, and now they have kids of their own. That’s the kind of lasting reputation we’ve built as a practice.”

Levitt Orthodontics

Two Offices:
345 Knowles Ave., Suite 7
Southampton, PA 18966

Neshaminy Professional Center
3101 Bristol Road
Bensalem, PA 19020

Alison Dunlap is a freelance photographer based in South Jersey.